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If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle

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iTunes Review

Distilled from hundreds of recordings made for Folkway Records in the late '50s and early ‘60s, this 24-track album emphasizes Pete Seeger’s role as an agent for social change. If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle is divided into sections dealing with “unions and labor,” “peace,” “civil rights,” and “hope.” Highlights include the original 1956 versions of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” as well as a previously unreleased take of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Besides his own compositions, Seeger applies his ringing tenor and trademark banjo and guitar strums to everything from timeless organizing ballads like “Which Side Are You On” and “Solidarity Forever” to brooding antiwar tunes like “Crow on the Cradle” and inspiring anthems like “Study War No More.” Of special note are “We’ll All Be A-Doubling” and “Arrange and Rearrange,” a pair of tracks recorded by Seeger with family and friends in 1998. Though it lacks such ‘60s-era signature songs as “Bells of Rhymney” and “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” this collection reflects the breadth and depth of Seeger’s music and his unshakable commitment to human freedom and dignity.

Customer Reviews

Pete Seeger is the greatest political protest songwriter ever.

Pete Seeger is simply great. He teaches his messages of love and peace the way noone else can. PEACE. US OUT OF IRAQ!

Remembering Pete Seeger

When I heard that Pete Seeger had died, I bought a copy of "Joe Hill" off his classic "If I Had A Hammer" LP. My best memory of Pete Seeger is the sunny afternoon at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City many years ago. It was a protest and celebration of Joe Hill Day. Joe Hill was a well known folk singer around the turn of the 20th Century. He was a protester for worker's rights and was part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) movement, often called "The Wobblies." He was framed for murder in Utah. Despite appeals and support from notable individuals and groups nationally, including the daughter of the President of the LDS church at the time, Joe Hill was executed by firing squad at the state prison which is now the site of Sugarhouse Park.

I will never forget the joy and power of Seeger joining with local musicians like Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips to lead all of us in singing songs that protested and songs that rejoiced in human rights like Joe Hill, We Shall Overcome, This Land is Our Land, and even some of Joe Hill's songs. God bless and keep Pete Seeger and his legacy.

If I had a Hammer

I am glad to have this song on my iPad. Our friend Dick Nikiel led this song at our wedding 46 years ago this past June. Richard W. Hammer


Born: May 3, 1919 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Perhaps no single person in the 20th century did more to preserve, broadcast, and redistribute folk music than Pete Seeger, whose passion for politics, the environment, and humanity earned him both ardent fans and vocal enemies ever since he first began performing in the late '30s. His battle against injustice led to his being blacklisted during the McCarthy era, celebrated during the turbulent '60s, and welcomed at union rallies throughout his life. His tireless efforts regarding global concerns...
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